Are Food Stamps Part of the Obesity Problem in the U.S.?

September 14, 2012

It’s a controversial question, but some people are asking, whether being on Food Stamps is making people fatter.  With the tough economy the number of people using SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is at an all time high.  Nearly 47 million Americans, that’s one in seven, now use Food Stamps.  Some studies indicate that participants are more likely than non-participants to be overweight or obese.  This report by ABC News takes a look at the the debate over whether purchases using Food Stamps should ban things like chips and soda and be limited to healthier foods. Click here to watch and learn more.

The annual cost of SNAP hit $72 billion last year, up from $30 billion four years earlier.

As ABC News reports in the story, SNAP’s swelling size and cost have earned it fresh scrutiny from critics, who say SNAP is making two different constituencies fat—big corporations and the poor—the first, figuratively; the second, literally.

Many health advocates, concerned by Americans’ increasing obesity, argue that food stamp purchases should be disallowed for items high in salt or fat or sugar—candy, say, or fatty meats, potato chips and soda. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, who has a particular antipathy to sweet drinks, has urged the Department of Agriculture to exclude sodas from food stamp eligibility.

Click here to read more on the ABC News website.